October 2021

Now Autumn is well and truly upon us, Michaelmas daisies, Rudbeckia and dahlias are flourishing in my garden.  Pyracantha berries and crab apples are not only providing colour now but also food for blackbirds later in the year, when food is scarce.  Added to that, to my delight, I have the Gertrude Jekyll rose blooming again as well as Penstemons, Lupins and a Delphinium!  Quite a few of the hardy perennials are still hanging on in there, too.  Long may it last!

We have a lot of cheerful news to report on this month, with getting back to normal meetings, the visit to Little Malvern Court and running a plant creche at RHS Malvern Autumn show.

Our next meeting, always the 4th Wednesday of the month, will be on Wednesday, 27th October at St Matthias Church room, Church Road, Malvern Link at 7.30pm until approx. 9.30pm.

The speaker will be Mary Stevenson talking about ‘Bulbs, Corms, Tubers and Rhizomes’.  A fitting subject for this time of year, as gardeners are already planning their spring borders!

Refreshments will be provided as usual and there will be a raffle and competitions.

There are 2 categories for the competition.  1. Autumn foliage – an arrangement in a vase.

2. A collection of squashes, gourds or pumpkins.

Entrants are allowed one entry per category.  There will be a table set up for the exhibits and entrants will be given a piece of paper, on which to write their full name, to put under their entry.  All members are given 2 tokens, one token per category, to vote for their favourite exhibit.

Helena Kent. Club Secretary

Malvern Autumn Show Plant Creche

The gardening club had a fun day out at the Autumn show on Saturday 25th September. Trish Robinson and a team of enthusiastic volunteers ran the creche in a new location at the showground. The tent was excellent – bigger, better equipped and right by the plant stands. After a slow start it proved to be very popular with visitors, who soon learned the major drawback of leaving plants in the creche: empty baskets allow more purchases.

During the show we collected for our nominated charity, Link Nurseries at Powick. We raised £190 which is fantastic. Many thanks to Trish for her hard work. If you are interested in helping out at the Spring show please let us know. For two hours volunteering members get a free ticket to the show and plenty of free time to enjoy the exhibits and speakers. The club also gets a donation from the show organisers, which is a big part of our annual revenue.
David Baker

Thank you to everyone who helped with creche at the show.  It all ran smoothly (apart from a few lost tickets) thanks to everyone working together.  I hope new members enjoyed the experience and thanks to experienced ones, who showed them the ropes.  Collection of £190 was delivered to Link Nurseries. 

We are usually asked to do 2 plant creches at Spring Show, 5-8 May, one on Thursday and one on Saturday.  So put the dates in your 2022 diary!  Patricia Robinson  

Little Malvern Court Visit

After many months of lockdown we were delighted to be able to return to face-to-face meetings on July 28th, with a visit to Little Malvern Court. About 30 people came, and for most of us this was the biggest group we had been in for almost 18 months! The weather during the day had been terrible (very heavy downpours, at frequent intervals), so we were very fortunate that it cleared to give us beautiful evening sunshine.

The visit started with a talk about the garden and its recreation by the current owners by the head gardener. This was a great introduction, and he stayed to answer any questions we had. The garden itself was well worth the visit, with several water lily ponds in what were medieval fish ponds, a stunning yew hedge and many specimen trees, a rose garden and a fernery around the chapel. Lots of photographs were taken and it was a great way to restart the “in-person” gardening club meetings.

Thanks to Rachel for organising this, and to Mary and Patsy who endured the process of changing the signatories on our club bank account through multiple hoops and challenges, culminating in a formal complaint and compensation which raised the funds for the visit. I hope they think it was worth it!

The Pleasure of seeing Animals and Birds in our GardensPatricia Robinson  

This Robin decided to nest in an old Tea chest where I keep my pots – it is on the ground so our dog soon discovered that something interesting was happening in the chest– I put a barrier against the opening but it was not strong enough so we erected a wire cage around the entrance. This meant the bird had to land on the wire before diving through the barrier into its nest but it did give a great photo opportunity. 

I presume the young fledged because the feeding went on for some time. Unfortunately, they did not use the Tea chest again this year.

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This Robin ( you can just see her in the photo!) found our Tea pot to make its nest, the clematis grew quickly so camouflaged the nest beautifully but we did see much coming & going .

A robin visits me on the allotment – he first came as a youngster before he got his red breast so I was not 100% sure it was a robin but he now apears nearly every time I am there which is lovely

I was really excited when, during lockdown, I saw this nuthatch investigating & cleaning out a hole in the beech tree in our front garden –I set up the camera but after 3 days the activity ceased – I think it was too accessible to the squirrels that dominate the area.

This is not in my garden but could not resist showing you this beautiful Kingfisher that visits the pond in Priory Park each winter.  It is quite a challenge spotting it.

I’m a spaniel puppy trying to help in the garden!  Jenny Jones

A temporary fence was erected around the precious flower border to keep me out.  As you can see, I managed to get behind the fortifications and now have to work out how to escape!

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